Published 01/02/2012 | 05:00
• Whether deliberate or otherwise, the political and media establishments are totally failing to facilitate intelligent debate about our economic situation. Maybe it is convenient, if cynical, to blame others -- Europe, the troika etc, as well as the banks -- instead of recognising we must agree how to pay our way. No one owes us a living.
The tax rises and spending cuts, whether or not you agree with their composition (I do not), have nothing to do with banks and bondholders at this stage. As Brendan Keenan points out, we are still spending €8bn more than we raise in taxes for day-to-day purposes. The banking mess is a real but separate issue, and if and when we balance our own books and do not have to ask banks and bondholders to "please fund our overspending for the next week or year", then we may be in a better position to play hardball.
Castlebar, Co Mayo